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iOS Apps on Sale for 29 Mar: Papa Sangre II & Carmageddon Are Free!

Finding the best deals on apps in an endless sea of promotions can be just as hard as writing an interesting introduction to the same column each week. Fortunately, the deals are generally a lot more enticing than my intros. This week we’ve got a healthy mix of familiar oldies and appealing newcomers, with the must-have musician’s tool Loopy HD enjoying 50% off and two of the App Store’s best time-wasters going completely free. Apps Loopy HD ($7.99, now $3.99) Loopy is arguably one the apps that defines the iOS platform, having being initially released way back in October 2011…. Read the full article: iOS Apps on Sale for 29 Mar: Papa Sangre II & Carmageddon Are Free!

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iOS Apps on Sale for 29 Mar: Papa Sangre II & Carmageddon Are Free!

Cool Websites & Tools – Rent Photography Gear, Wall Street Survivor, & Practical Advice For Women

Stormboard – Brainstorm, organize, prioritize and act on the best ideas, in the same room or around the world, on a realtime sticky note whiteboard. Quickly add sticky notes, photos and videos to a shared wall. Generate more high quality ideas as everyone can contribute with their own authentic voice on their own device. All ideas have a comment thread allowing your team to clarify, debate and refine ideas. Lumoid – Try amazing photography gear. Rent and own high-quality gear and accessories, starting at $5/day. Simple, affordable and fast. Lumoid helps you try before you buy expensive (or not so… Read the full article: Cool Websites & Tools – Rent Photography Gear, Wall Street Survivor, & Practical Advice For Women

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Cool Websites & Tools – Rent Photography Gear, Wall Street Survivor, & Practical Advice For Women

Cool Websites & Tools – Relationship Wingman, Fix A Parking Ticket, & Honest Android Games

BroApp – is your clever relationship wingman. It automatically messages your girlfriend sweet things so you can spend more time with the Bros. Select your girlfriend’s number, add some sweet messages, and set the time of day when you want those messages sent. Fixed – claims to be the easiest way to fix a parking ticket. Up to 50% of tickets are dismissed when challenged. Fixed has a team of experts that know the parking rules inside-out. Upload your ticket as a photo, and they will take care of the rest. If you win, they charge 25% of the ticket…. Read the full article: Cool Websites & Tools – Relationship Wingman, Fix A Parking Ticket, & Honest Android Games

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Cool Websites & Tools – Relationship Wingman, Fix A Parking Ticket, & Honest Android Games

$200 Off iPhone 5s and Other Spring Cleaning Liquidations [Tech Deals]

Looking for a super cheap iPhone 5s? Virgin Mobile this week finally introduced an iPhone 5s to their lineup, discounted by more than $200. We’ve also dug up deals on a Nexus 7, an iPad Mini, a motherboard, an SSD and more! Tablet and Smartphone Users This week, the iPhone 5s receives a substantial discount at Virgin Mobile. And we’ve got a refurbished Nexus 7 along with an iPad Mini for rock bottom prices. Virgin Mobile 16GB iPhone 5s Price: $439.99; compare to $649.00 MSRP Retailer: Virgin Mobile – Buy it Now This offer is by far the lowest price… Read the full article: $200 Off iPhone 5s and Other Spring Cleaning Liquidations [Tech Deals]

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$200 Off iPhone 5s and Other Spring Cleaning Liquidations [Tech Deals]

Save Your Favorite Comments & Give Gold To The Best Submissions On Reddit

Reddit has been slowly but surely making tiny improvements to the social chatter it collates. This week it brings two changes to the community. Saving favorite comments for later is a powerful tool for Redditors. Earlier, it was available to only paid subscribers on Reddit Gold. The useful feature is now available to all Reddit users. All Reddit users can now save comments as well as submissions. They can go back anytime and read the saved items based on the subreddit they came from. Reddit Gold users get one extra enhancement – they can save comments and submissions in their… Read the full article: Save Your Favorite Comments & Give Gold To The Best Submissions On Reddit

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Save Your Favorite Comments & Give Gold To The Best Submissions On Reddit

Cheap iPhone 5c, Samsung Galaxy S4 Active and More [Tech Deals]

Retailers continue to liquidate last year’s goods — this week, we’ve got almost $200 off the iPhone 5c and even larger savings on a semi-rugged Samsung Galaxy S4. Also featured are a super cheap SSD, RAM and a Surface Pro, among other wallet-friendly options. Tablet and Smartphone Users Looking for high end smartphones at cut-rate prices? This week we’ve got a Samsung Galaxy S4 Active (water resistant) and an iPhone 5c at a bargain! 16GB Virgin Mobile Apple iPhone 5C Price: $359.99; compare to $549.99 brand new Retailer: Virgin Mobile – Buy it Now! This deal remains the best I’ve… Read the full article: Cheap iPhone 5c, Samsung Galaxy S4 Active and More [Tech Deals]

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Cheap iPhone 5c, Samsung Galaxy S4 Active and More [Tech Deals]

#Cheap: 12 Ways To Use Social Media To Find Great Shopping Deals

Save money without leaving your favorite social networks. Is that possible? We’ve shown you how to keep tabs on Amazon’s daily deals, but neglected to mention social networks. Which is too bad, because social networks have a number of advantages for this. You’re already looking at them regularly, they allow third parties to curate content and are easy to use. Know where to look and you can save some money. There are pages on Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook regularly linking to deals you might be missing out on – here a few worth checking out. 4 Subreddits For Finding Deals… Read the full article: #Cheap: 12 Ways To Use Social Media To Find Great Shopping Deals

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#Cheap: 12 Ways To Use Social Media To Find Great Shopping Deals

Apple drops prices on refurbished second-, third-gen iPads

Those of you looking to get your hands on a qualified refurbished iPad might want to check out the Apple store online. Apple has dropped prices on second- and third-generation models. The discounts apply to only the WiFi+3G and WiFi+Cellular models and not the WiFi-only models. Interested customers can now pick up a second-generation iPad WiFi+3G 16 GB for only US$349 — that’s $180 (34 percent) off the regular $529 price. The 32 GB unit costs $429 (a $200 savings), and the 64 GB is $529 ($200 off). As for the third-generation iPad WiFi+Cellular , the 16 GB is only $409 — that’s $170 (29 percent) off the regular $579 price. The 32 GB unit costs $499 (a $180 savings), and the 64 GB is $579 ($200 off). Prices on refurbed models are, as always, only good while supplies last. Apple drops prices on refurbished second-, third-gen iPads originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 23 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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Apple drops prices on refurbished second-, third-gen iPads

ITC invalidates Motorola proximity sensor patent in suit against Apple

With all of the Samsung vs. Apple conflict in the courts, one could be forgiven for losing track of the fact that Apple has a lingering patent dispute with Google’s Motorola Mobility subsidiary as well. Bloomberg is reporting that the US International Trade Commission (ITC) recently upheld a previous court’s judgement which held that a Motorola patent asserted against Apple was invalid. The patent in question is US Patent No. 6,246,862 and encompasses functionality whereby a mobile device ignores unintended touches when in close proximity to a user’s face. This is the capability that allows touchscreen phones to avoid “cheekdialing” during a call. The pertinent patent claim reads: 1. A portable communication device comprising: a processing section to control operation of the portable communication device in response to an input signal; a user interface comprising a touch sensitive input device coupled to the processing section, the touch sensitive input device actuatable to generate the input signal; and a sensor coupled to the user interface, the sensor to disable communication of the input signal to the processing section when the portable communication device is positioned in close proximity to a user, thereby, preventing inadvertent actuation of the touch sensitive input device. The ITC agreed with Apple’s argument that the patent claim was obvious. Motorola argued, to no avail, that the patented technology was not obvious back when it was filed in 1999 due to the scarcity of touchscreen mobile devices at the time. It’s worth noting that the aforementioned patent is the last one remaining from Motorola’s initial lawsuit against Apple, filed in 2010, where it asserted a grand total of 18 patents against a slew of Apple products. Google, which acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion back in 2011 , told Bloomberg that the company was “evaluating our options.” Apple, as is typically the case, had no comment. The ITC’s ruling can be read in its entirety over here . More analysis of the court’s decision is over at FOSS Patents . ITC invalidates Motorola proximity sensor patent in suit against Apple originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 23 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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ITC invalidates Motorola proximity sensor patent in suit against Apple

Productivity Tip: Take a break

In the past couple of installments of TUAW’s productivity tips , I’ve discussed a number of ways to keep you focused on your tasks. Managing those tasks will be the next big-picture topic, but this week I wanted to keep it short and simple, just like your breaks should be. Yes, you should take breaks , especially if you are a knowledge worker and/or you have to focus on tasks which require a great deal of problem solving. There’s a lot of evidence that shows our brains need frequent rest in order to function at their best , so don’t skimp on the breaks even if you are worried about a deadline. Why is this important? Aside from how you should really be taking a vacation , your brain can suffer from decision fatigue . While you’re busy processing your inbox or responding to emails, your brain is getting quite the electro-chemical workout . As with any of our organs, after a while it tires out. Just like a physical workout, you should allow for a cool-down period to let your brain rejeuvinate itself. At AOL we’re quite fond of naps, too . Timing breaks As I discussed in my article on timers, you should aim to take a quick break after a period of intense focus. Pomodoros are set up for this purpose, giving you 25 minutes of task time plus a five-minute break. I’ve read of 90-minute work sessions followed by a 30-minute break time (which allows time for a walk or run or yoga), but ultimately you’ll have to experiment and see what works for you as a person and in your job. I like to take frequent breaks . The key to timing your breaks is definitely scheduling them around those periods of intensity. Again, your brain gets worn out after too many decisions in a fixed amount of time — let that thing cool off! The time of your break should be somewhat proportional to the period of intensity, however. Five minutes after 25 makes sense, as does 30 after 90. Taking an hour nap after 20 minutes of email is a bit much, however. Types of breaks Now, do you need to rest or do you need to re-energize? One allows things to cool down, while the other is more like a warm up. Often we just need to rest our eyes, or just stretch to shake off the tightness of sitting for too long. For short breaks I tend to make sure I have a bottle of water, then go gaze out a window for a few minutes. Or, since I work at home, I’ll go spend a few minutes washing dishes (a very peaceful activity, honestly). These short breaks help refocus you later, and serve as a brief cool-down for your brain. Be careful not to overdo it; tidying your desk or going to the break room might seem like a quick rest, yet you’re still making all sorts of decisions, leading again to decision fatigue. A better short break fully disengages your brain for a bit. Staring is actually good. Stretching is even better, and there are lots of exercises you can do, even in a cubicle . The more you allow your body to work, the better it will be able to assist your brain. Anything that literally “takes your mind off of things” is good, which means social media checking is likely bad as you’re likely to see things which make you angry as well as happy on any given day. Naps are excellent, but most people don’t use them correctly. Here’s a great primer , and here are some tips from the Mayo clinic . I have found that a 25-minute or less nap has made me feel more energized in the afternoons if I am not already sleep deprived. If I haven’t had enough sleep that day already, I tend to get a headache later and feel sleepier. That said, naps can be very effective when done properly. I have found a short walk or run, or even time with a Kinect game, helps the afternoon doldrums significantly. A few jumping jacks or standing on your head can also get the blood flowing. Apps to help For simple breaks, I like to use Due ‘s timers and have set a 5, 10, and 15 minute timer as default break times. Siri can do this in a pinch as well. For naps I use Naturespace (which has a timer), or Pzizz , a longtime Mac app which was ported to iOS some time ago. Pzizz is, in my opinion, the best napping app; it guides you into a restful state much like hypnosis, can be set for various times, and can be configured in numerous ways while still using a set of sounds and tones which help lull you to rest. Other TUAWers enthusiastically recommend Andrew Johnson’s apps and audiofiles for guided rest periods. Meditation is a good rest plan, and we’ve already mentioned a few apps for this . I’m currently using Mind , which is as simple a meditation timer as you’re likely to find. There are also a number of exercise apps on the store, including some niche products like Healthy Break , which adds simple stretches to a break timer. I haven’t had much success with these, as I tend to look up things online, learn them, and have a few I do over and over again. It’s best to discuss your options with your doctor or trainer (if you’re lucky enough to have a trainer). Conclusion While you can push through a day with no breaks, you will wind up making worse decisions as time wears on, and as those decisions wear you out. As your productivity and quality of work decrease, you become less efficient. The best way to combat this: get plenty of rest to begin with, and allow yourself breaks through the day . By setting timers for breaks and having a collection of short activities to break to, you’ll set yourself up to stay productive longer than before, with better results. Productivity Tip: Take a break originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 23 Apr 2013 14:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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Productivity Tip: Take a break